Sports physical therapists play such an important role in athletes’ lives. High-performing athletes—even when they do all the right things—can sometimes sustain an injury. Whether an athlete needs to recover from injury, optimize performance, or return to play, incorporating a physical therapy regimen can be an essential part of daily athletic routines. Sports physical therapists can also help athletes to prevent injury, manage pain, and improve their overall health and wellness. Read on to learn more about what to expect from the best sports physical therapists.
Get back in the game. There are a number of different exercises or treatments that a sports physical therapist might recommend for an athlete to return to play. In a solid return-to-plan, a lot of work will be done on range of motion, strength training, function, as well as the athlete’s awareness of body position and body movement. At ROI, there is a great focus on return-to-sport rehabilitation for both individuals and teams. One-on-one work with sports physical therapists can help athletes to focus on both healing and performance. ROI has a team of experts—doctors of physical therapy—who specialize in sports and orthopedic injuries.
Thorough injury assessment and intervention. The best sports physical therapists work to determine an athlete’s readiness for sports through a solid system of measurements and assessments. At ROI, sports physical therapists assess things like an athlete’s tissue quality, joint mobility, and movement function. Some of the services that can help with an athlete’s healing process include soft tissue mobilization, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization or scraping, cupping therapy, dry needling, and joint mobilization or manipulation.
Take an integrated approach. If you tear an MCL or an ACL, if you break an ankle or a finger, or if you hurt your leg or shoulder, the best sports physical therapists don’t just focus on the one broken body part; they work on the whole athlete. At ROI, experienced sports physical therapists work alongside a whole team of exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches, and registered dieticians to help focus on holistic healing.
A specific focus. Sports therapy is not your average physical therapy. It specializes in helping athletes to deal with acute or chronic injuries. Prevention of future injuries and enhanced performance are added benefits of sports therapy because sports physical therapists will layer in aspects of your sport throughout the rehabilitation process. At ROI, sports physical therapists conduct a thorough evaluation of an athlete before designing and implementing an individualized program.
Effective methods. Some methods of sports therapy that sports physical therapists might include are: manual, hands-on techniques like cupping or massage, therapeutic exercises such as functional retraining, dynamic strength training, and endurance training, and other therapy techniques like ice, heat, tape, or electrical stimulation.
Motivated by movement. The body’s movement system represents a collection of systems including the cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, and musculoskeletal. All of these systems interact to help the body move. At ROI, sports physical therapists base treatment and training on this movement system. ROI aims to help athletes move better—not just on the field—but every day. Therapy routines are customized, with movement in mind, so that athletes can prevent injury and improve performance. Not only will a great sports physical therapist help an athlete to improve his or her range of motion and flexibility, it’s key to also work on restoring an athlete’s functional movement patterns.
Before and after. The importance of pre-operative and post-operative rehabilitation and therapy should not be underestimated. If you’re an athlete who needs surgery or needs to recover from surgery, working with a sports physical therapist can have so many benefits. Pre-op rehab helps prepare patients for procedures by reducing post-op pain, swelling, and atrophy. This helps to ease discomfort and also helps athletes mentally prepare for surgery. Post-op therapy can help to promote tissue protection and healing, restore range of motion, minimize muscle loss, and regain full function. The experts at ROI help to design customized, comprehensive physical therapy programs for athletes.
Get educated. While sports physical therapists largely focus on the physical aspect of recovery, the best ones will work closely with an athlete to let them know the how and why around the recovery process. In addition to teaching patients techniques to use, therapists can help athletes to get a better understanding and knowledge of their bodies when it comes to injury care, prevention, and returning to play.
Work with the best. The team at ROI wants to help athletes of all levels to achieve their goals. Using the best practices in sports therapy can help athletes to heal and perform well. With state-of-the-art facilities, a holistic, personalized approach, and experienced physical therapists, ROI provides an ideal environment for sports physical therapy that entails a strategic and efficient recovery process. Reach out to ROI to get assessed and to start a sports therapy journey to healing. Learn more by visiting ROI’s website, or reach out by calling 512-962-9141.